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Optimize Your Health for Better Blogging

This guest post is by Joey and Chris of versatilehealth.com.

So you want to be a blogger? Or maybe you’re already an established authority in your niche, with a great following and a nicely designed website—congrats! Your contribution to the wonderful world of sharing knowledge and information is much appreciated.

There is no doubt that the blogosphere is a giant place that’s loaded with some very awesome people, but let’s face it: us bloggers have a huge downfall, and very few of us actually realize what’s going on here. The simple truth is that a lot of bloggers do not take care of their bodies the way they should.

What many people don’t realize about blogging and running a legitimate website is the constant toll it can take on one’s body. Coding, typing, sitting, posting, responding, marketing, designing, being stagnant for long periods of time … sometimes, it’s all just too much to deal with! But we’re a passionate bunch of people, and we love what we do, right?

The trick here is to optimize everything (body, mind, and environment) so we can keep on doing what we do, to the best of our abilities. Let me explain…

A blogger’s beginning

We’re all very eager to get our blogs up and running, and performing at their peaks, as soon as possible. However, before pressing forward, it’s important that you know and fully understand the journey that you’re about to take.

Now I’m definitely not trying to discourage anybody here (quite the opposite)—I’m simply preparing you for what is to come.

Maybe you already have a normal nine-to-five job and blogging is just a pastime for the moment. Awesome! But maybe you’re trying to make some real money online, and you actually see the potential that running a website possesses—even better! Whatever the case may be, I have some expert health advice that has helped me to create a successful blog myself. So sit back and take some notes, because I’m about to let you in on some insider secrets.

A common entrepreneur’s downfall

Time and time again, I see entrepreneurs (bloggers, online marketers, and others) fueling their bodies incorrectly. Even at some of these top-notch online marketing conventions that are hosted throughout the country, I meet people who are very successful, but are also leading extremely unhealthy lives. It’s sad to say, but I see this all the time.

I need you to think about this for a second. Lots of online entrepreneurs are tremendously prosperous, but this doesn’t necessarily indicate that they’re doing everything correctly. In many cases, online professionals are not living up to their full potential. They could be reaching even greater success if they were in tune with their overall health!

Think of it as fine-tuning the body for maximum output. See where I’m going with this? It’s like taking something that works decently and supercharging it to the fullest! Those whom I have had the pleasure of meeting at these conferences are doing great things; yet, they’re limiting their true abilities.

Why is this so important to realize?

Think how much more these people could be doing for their respective businesses if they took their health to an entirely different (and better) place. Let’s face it—a blogger’s mind and body are his or her main weapons for success. Without them in check, the blogger will find—and possibly even create—more obstacles to overcome than they might otherwise.

Many online entrepreneurs I come across are loaded with stress, fatigue, weight issues, heart problems, depression, and other debilitating ailments. In other words, they’re sacrificing their health for money. Does this seem like a fair exchange? I wouldn’t say so! When has it become acceptable to go about business in this fashion? I personally can remember (from a very early age) how my father used to emphasize the importance of health in order to make money and be successful, and it truly does make sense. This is something that has stuck with me through my entire life.

With that said, I hope you can find that proper balance that’s required for maximum output so you can take your business to the next level. That balance is different for each person, but right now, I want to dive into some foods I recommend avoiding if you are to achieve this equilibrium.

Foods to avoid for optimal blogging

To clarify from the start, I have loads more foods on my don’t-eat list, but I’m not going to cover all of them today. Rather, I’ll be going over a few that I feel it’s imperative for you to avoid if overall health is a goal of yours.

Sugar and energy drinks

Let’s start off by saying you have to toss these sugar-laden energy drinks! I know it sounds different than what you may have been told in the past, but please trust me when I say that they’re not safe (or smart) to consume in any amount.

Here’s why. Most of the drinks you see advertised for energy are overloaded with sugar, which can cause a whole bunch of nasty issues to take place.

Studies show that sugar has the power to influence some really debilitating health issues if levels are not watched and/or regulated adequately.

Let me ask you something: do you think running a company/website will be achievable, or come easily if one has these draining issues bogging them down every day? I don’t think so. What I’m getting at here is how harmful substances (like sugar) can be to your body—the studies listed above reflect this.

It’s time that you start assessing your daily sugar intake—the more you monitor it, the better you’ll feel. I guarantee that this is a great tactic in improving overall health.

Why the zero-calorie substitute is no substitute

The zero-calorie issue isn’t widely discussed, but it should be! I call drinks that carry these fake sweeteners “the cancer creators,” because that’s exactly what they do! A lot of the studies I’ve come across have been able to shed some much-needed light on this topic.

Because these drinks are so controversial in nature, I strongly advise you not to take any chances with them. I speak of this subject for a very specific reason: most, if not all bloggers and online tycoons I’ve met over the years consume this stuff on a daily basis. Many associate these zero-calorie energy drinks with productivity and efficiency, while others simply enjoy the temporary high that they may experience while using them. Whatever the case may be, these foods should be avoided at all costs, and here’s why:

Scary stuff right?! What I find troubling is how this information is not widely distributed; rather, it is, in a sense, swept under the rug for few to uncover. But I’m trying to change all that. It has become a goal of mine to inform as many as I can about these dangers.

Get rid of grains

I know, I know, this sounds even scarier! But I wouldn’t recommend it if it weren’t the truth. Grains (wheat, barley, oats, corn, rice) are loaded with no-nos. Let’s take a quick look at why grains can be so bad:

Wow. That’s a whole lot of bad, if you ask me! And the worst part about all of that is how it’s just the tip of the iceberg in regards to grain consumption. The truth is that I had a bunch of health issues going on in the past. I was feeling very tired and unmotivated all the time, but once I cut the sugars and grains from my diet, I started feeling a lot better. It’s really amazing how this works—I strongly encourage you to try it out.

It doesn’t take a genius to thoroughly understand that if our health is heavily impacted (as demonstrated by the studies listed above) by what we eat, we won’t be as productive. Being physically fit and well is a main component for long-term success.

Understanding the Credit System

What is the Credit System? To put it simply, you must look at what you put in your body as a charge—like on a credit card. Some people are stacking up charges because of the horrid choices they’re making. In other words, those who take less care in their daily choices (foods, products, drugs) will be paying the price sooner than those who keep their balances low or on more manageable levels.

By looking at lifestyle choices in this manner, a person can start to accurately assess their daily decisions more efficiently.

This system (one which I have used on many clients) allows people to see the obvious threats that are presented by living a conventional existence. The message is obvious: the more purely one lives, the better they’ll feel. It’s as simple as that!

Cut out all of which is hindering your body, and you’ll perform better. This is so important for bloggers (or future bloggers) to realize. If you’re truly striving to run a website and be successful, you must take all of this into account. It has helped me build my business, and that’s why I’m sharing it with you.

The goal here is to get the body in a balanced state so it can be productive. In other words, if you can do this, your body will be in-tune to make all the right moves. And if you’re making the right moves, you’ll make money! Sounds good, right?

Have you noticed how the foods you eat impact your ability to perform as a blogger? Share your experiences with us in the comments.

Versatile Health is all about delivering hidden health and wellness information to the masses, with a message of simplicity, fun, and overall awareness. In a nutshell, we’re two guys with a story to tell. Our past health issues have pushed us to discover new ways of healing outside of traditional medicine – this is what we share with our following. You can download your free copy of our ebook here: 100 Ways To Wellness.


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Comments

  1. Rednights says:

    Nice, telling the asians to give up rice … umm .. about that …

  2. Marius says:

    This wasn’t a typical blog post as I expected here, but was interesting to read… :)

  3. ¿Get rid of grains? This is controversial, to say the least.

    In Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy Walter C. Willet, chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, recommends eating whole grain foods at most meals–and eating nuts and legumes 1 to 3 times a day.

    One of my aunts lived to be 110 years old on a diet of black beans, rice, root vegetables, fish, and tons of fruit :-)

    • Joey says:

      It definitely is controversial Gustavo. A lot of it has to do with location and how active people are as well. Americans in general have a lot of blood sugar issues, and grains don’t help this at all. I guess there is a balance for everybody. Thank you so much for the comment Gustavo!

  4. Hi Joey,

    Awesome message here. Take care of your home, your body, with the proper nutrition and don’t forget to rest too.

    I share a different viewpoint on grains. Oatmeal is a super food. I was a physique model and bodybuilder for years, and oats really helped fuel my uber intense workouts, while boosting my heart health. Keep those grains in check – no need to go bonkers, which leads to weight gain – but do ingest some to maintain a balanced diet.

    If you make plenty of money and run a successful blog, but are unhealthy, you are poor. Can’t enjoy your success if your body is in bad shape, since that is where you live. Eat right. Exercise. Rest.

    Most of all, work light. Stop straining and striving. Slow down. Relax. Calm yourself. Engage in effective, intelligent acts, so you work less but reach more members of your target audience. One of the better ways to stay healthy is to minimize time on the lap top. Work smart, and you work less.

    Drink water like mad too. Nothing like downing 1/2 gallon to a gallon per day. Living in Thailand now, temps are reaching 100 F daily. We chug water like crazy here. Hydrating keeps you full, and keeps everything moving along nicely.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Joey!

    Ryan Biddulph

    • Joey says:

      Thanks Ryan! Awesome points! You have some great tips there. I especially like your views on relaxing and slowing down – we all need to do that a little more. Thanks for the great comment!

  5. Navin Kunwar says:

    Should i leave tea or coffee as you suggest not to. omg here are lots of things to maintain. its impossible for me to do so.

    • Marc Ensign says:

      Impossible?

    • Joey says:

      Coffee and tea is ok in my book, just as long as it’s not too late in the day. Also, it’s important to make sure that your body can handle such drinks. Some people are more sensitive to these items than they realize. Before 12:00 p.m. and you should be fine. Ohhh, and organic for sure!

  6. Marc Ensign says:

    This was an awesome post!!!! It’s not just what you put in your body, but with you do with it as well. As I’m reading this I literally just got home from a 25 mile bike ride (if I don’t finish this comment, the sweat likely shorted out my computer). I ride about 5 times a week and I always bring my iPhone with me so I can stop at any point and jot down ideas that come to me along the way. Today I came up with 3 solid new blog posts for this week just from being on a bike for an hour and a half and away from the computer and other humans. Can’t beat that! There is NO excuse (including “I don’t have time”) to be healthy…you don’t have time NOT to!

    • Joey says:

      Perfectly said Marc! Great points! Being healthy is a must for all! Thanks for the comment buddy!

  7. suraj says:

    You have mentioned lot of things, normal people cant do these things. I am student and blogger so its hard maintain such things for me.

    • Joey says:

      There is definitely a lot here suraj, I agree with that. Over the years, I have found ways to implement these tips, but it wasn’t an overnight change. The best way to go about this stuff is to implement over time, this way it’s not so overwhelming. Some people are hardcore and go all out, while others are more cautious with their approaches. Whatever works for you is best. Thanks for the comment!

  8. Mike L says:

    I would highly reccomend reading an entry level book on the Paleo diet for anyone that has further questions on a sugar free / grain free diet. Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint or Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution are two extremely good resources to get you started. The paleo diet is a results driven lifestyle which has become extremely popular within the Crossfit comminity.

    Joey’s right…conventional wisdom will take you down a very dangerous patth.

    @Navin – coffee and tea are perfectly acceptable. What’s not acceptable is relying on caffein for energy. If you are groggy and tired…that’s a direct result of innsuficient rest.

    Great post.

    • Joey says:

      Great advice Mike. Mark Sission is a great place to start. He has a lot of underground info that more people should be aware of. I’ve been reading his stuff for years and have learned a ton! Thanks for the comment Mike!

    • Kylie Healey says:

      I was going to suggest the same myself! I’ve learnt a lot from Mark Sission. The other is to read Wheat Belly by William Davis.

  9. It’s interesting that, as bloggers, we are willing to work very hard to build/maintain our blogs, yet we shy away from the hard work of staying healthy. Like so many things, it’s tempting to take changes in eating habits to extremes. Moderation is a good way to begin – maybe begin by cutting down on sugary drinks and grains. In a few weeks, another reduction. Really interesting concept to think about staying healthy and the effect that could have on blogging ability. Thanks for the perspective.

    • Joey says:

      No problem Vicki. Moderation is a great way to go about it. Doing everything all at once could be extremely hard. Great points and thanks for the comment!

  10. Shiva says:

    Coffee and Tea, omg i can’t live without these drinks :)

    • Joey says:

      Coffee and tea are fine in moderation, don’t worry Shiva, lol. You’ll be just fine! Thanks for the comment!

  11. eezytrade says:

    I’ve been running my online business since 2003 and I can feel the effects of this starting to catch up with my 44… nearly 45 year old body.

    My eyes are telling me I’ve been staring at the computer screen for too long and they need testing and definitely new glasses.

    I’ve never suffered with bad health and it’s an easy thing to discount, thinking it’s just something that happens to someone else, but I’m someone else to someone else. Hope this isn’t prophetic.

    • Joey says:

      My eyes are starting to be somewhat impacted as well. It is a hard lifestyle at times, but totally worth it if it’s a calling of yours. The best advice I can give is to be aware of your health on the many levels we have discussed – it goes pretty deep. Much of what this post is about covers these issues. Thanks for the comment!

  12. Nicola says:

    Disagree re grains, grains are part of a healthy diet and have many health benefits, proven through research. One of your links is misleading. Grains can influence celiac disease. This is about wheat – which of course people with celiac disease cannot eat because they are allergic to the main protein in wheat – gluten. This article is doing some research so find or i breeding wheat species with low or absent levels of gluten proteins that are harmful to. Wheat is harmful to Celiacs as they have an immune response to it. Also some people are wheat or gluten intolerant. These are the only people that need to avoid it.

  13. Joey says:

    Grains are tricky to deal with. The main problem is that a lot of people have sensitivities to them without even knowing! And this is really not good! I cut them from my life a while ago and feel like a new person, doing this literally transformed my body! For me, it’s about controlling blood sugar, and grains can hinder this process dramatically. I guess there is a balance for everyone. I do know some very healthy people who eat grains from time to time. Thanks for the comment Nicola!

  14. Tash Hughes says:

    Interesting, thanks Joey. I believe in balance and working at health but a reminder is always good as it is very easy to get caught up in stuff and let yourself slide down the priority list.

    I never drink those energy drinks and rarely any soft drinks at all, and I have cut my carbohydrates back a lot to balance my blood sugar (and weight loss came with it). Sounds good, huh? That’s just because you didn’t touch on my weakness of chocolate, lol!

    My ideal (as I spend all my working time at a computer as a writer and blogger) is to take regular breaks form the computer, even just to walk around the house, drink lots of water and have healthy small meals often. I also sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair as it takes more muscle work and balance so even sitting I am dong something physical.

    Again, thanks for the reminder to keep doing this…

    • Joey says:

      For sure Tash! I do the exact same thing when sitting at the computer, breaks are very much needed. Sometimes I’ll get up randomly and do 25 pushups just to break the cycle! haha. I really appreciate the nice comment. Thanks again!

  15. Gjivan says:

    Very nice article but not applicable for everyone.

  16. Joey says:

    Definitely agree. Genetics play a huge role in the foods we eat as well; therefore, everybody is different to a certain degree. In the big picture of things, I think there is a way to go about all of this with a balanced approach. Thanks for the comment Gjivan. We truly appreciate it!

  17. Tania Dakka says:

    I agree 110% that your health and your fitness affect your business. I even pointed it out here: http://taniadakka.com/2012/01/18/7-warning-signs-that-your-craft-is-suffering/ However, the type of eating style is up to the individual and what works best with them. Granted, grains cause some issues with many people, but they are not something that’s necessary to scrap. Rather than looking at a laundry list of what can’t be eaten, I suggest people look at what they can eat: anything that comes from the ground (and yes, grains come from the ground) or has a “mama” (as Jillian Michaels puts it). The only thing on the “Do Not Eat” list is anything that was made in a factory. That’s it. Plain. Simple. Actionable.

  18. Joey says:

    Great points Tania! Great concepts and overall message. Thank you so much for the wonderful comment!

  19. Yes, as a newbie blogger myself, I can relate to the tension of starting something new and hoping to make it BIG as soon as possible. While I agree that health should not be neglected, I think people need to put in that “extra mile” in the beginning to ensure that their blogs gain some traction. Finally, content is king and creating good content takes time – given that most of have day jobs where we need to devote our full efforts, the initial days of blogging might take a bit of toll on health. The important part is that it should not be taken to the extreme that our regular day jobs start suffering as a result.

  20. Here Here

    Health is vital for a good balanced life.

    I personally try and lead a Gluten Free lifestyle (i’d say about 85% of the time) and get to the gym at least 3/4 times a week (although i’ve been crap in the last month, and guess what? I feel pretty crappy because of it)

    It can make such a difference to be a somewhat healthy person

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

    • Joey says:

      Thats awesome Matt! I too try my best in leading a gluten free lifestyle. Although tough at times, it’s totally worth it!

  21. robin says:

    I agree about balance between health and business. What the money for, if you can not enjoy your money, or only earn up money to medicate illness.

    • Joey says:

      Very true Robin. There is definitely a balance to achieve for everybody. Great comment! I totally agree with you.

  22. Raquel says:

    Thank you so much for this post, it couldn’t have come at a better time! Interestingly I have just been looking into a diet without grains in the past few weeks as I feel its making me feel ‘slugish’. Its so important to look after our bodies, especially as bloggers, because when our body functions well so will our brain.

    • Joey says:

      So glad we could help Raquel. Grain-free is the way for me! Although it’s not for everybody, I encourage you to give it a shot! Let us know how it goes. Thanks for the comment!

  23. Something I notice about coffee is that too much actually makes me feel tired a little while after. I get on better with a single coffee followed by an orange juice later. Citrus drinks / fruit really sharpen my concentration.

  24. hi, overall its good information … thanks for sharing with us

  25. brandi says:

    I have to disagree about all grains. Whole grains that haven’t been processed to just starch are good for you. They can help lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar and give your body needed fiber. I don’t produce the enzyme to eat meat and the supplements make me feel gross. If i took out grains I would be trying to survive on vegetables and fruits. I think just trying to be moderate in eating and exercise. I agree about the sugary sodas and energy drinks(i’ve never had one). Although for a treat I love a dr.pepper every now and then.

    • Joey says:

      Everybody is different, that’s for sure. Good that you don’t drink those energy drinks, they can be quite damaging. Thank you for reading our post. We truly appreciate it.

  26. Colin Cronin says:

    I Tweeted about this as well but thought I would post hear. The title of this article is fantastic and, as a big health nut, immediately made me want to read it. I think the first half is great in terms of setting up the body of the content but I was a little disappointed to see that the bulk of the content was about what NOT TO eat. Of course it is important to discuss this as sometimes knowing what NOT TO do is just as or more important as what TO DO.

    However, I would have liked to seen suggestions of healthy alternatives to the areas above, or discussion of what foods promote the optimal balance of energy and healthy for sustained, long-term productivity. I love the conclusion with the “Credit System” analogy, and some of the points made there make me recall the “Slight Edge” principle.

    But I felt that there was a gap with a crucial missing section. Between the “What Not to Eat” and the conclusion would have been a perfect place to post 3-4 categories or food types that people should eat (i.e. raw green vegetables, certain kinds of fruits, healthy sources of protein, etc.) Since I’m also huge on fitness, I would probably would have thrown in a section on this afterwards as well. But if you wanted to keep the focus on what your body’s intake, at least a healthy foods section should have been a must.

    I appreciate this content though, and hopefully, we get to see another post that is more fleshed out by you on ProBlogger.

    • Joey says:

      Thanks for the awesome feedback Colin! You make some great points here. I think the next post will focus more on which foods are best and all that. Thanks for the comment!

  27. Joey says:

    That’s interesting. Sometimes coffee (caffeine) can bog down the adrenals which can in-turn make a person tired. It’s very common. Happens to me sometimes as well. I have the opposite effect with citrus – it can really mess me up sometimes! lol. It’s crazy how we’re all different! Thanks for the comment!

  28. Nice post! I was actually curious about the grains part, since a lot of health nuts are saying that the only grains you should be eating are the whole grain kind. All-in-all, we need a balance of protein, fiber (which whole grains provide a great deal of), and vitamins/minerals.

    • Joey says:

      Grains are definitely a tricky subject. Some can handle them and some can’t. Overall I’d say they’re not all that great for a variety of reason. I cut them out of my diet and feel a whole lot better after doing so. Pretty crazy stuff. Thanks for the comment Manga!

  29. Surminga says:

    Wow, quite a list here, many Bloggers routines have their diet and exercise routines sewn in as well to get the best from them. Would be a hard task for most people to change their ways when do comfortable in their own routine and eating/drinking intake..

    • Joey says:

      Very true Surminga, some good points you have there. I guess striving to hit the best balance is what most are after. I often change my routines just to switch it up a little. Thanks for reading this post!

  30. Pete says:

    I’m glad I ran into this blog. This is so true when it comes to all types of business or hobbies as well. WE all need to be in our best shape health wise to perform our best with anything we do. I believe and live this. I just started my own blog here recently and this is a lot of fun. I hope I can bring good health to all in my time and i will keep trying until I make it there. I believe anyone can get to there best in all aspects of life they just need a little help from others. This blog is one that inspired me a bit today to keep pushing on.

    • Joey says:

      That’s great Pete! You’re totally right. Thanks for the great comment and for reading our post. Good luck on your blog. Keep us posted!

  31. miss dietitian says:

    The general idea is great – yes how you fuel your body is important, and will effect your blogging performance!

    However, many of these claims are incorrect. There is no proven link between artificial sweeteners and cancer, although it may cause diarrhea or bloating and of course it may be best to limit use in case they do cause cancer (although not yet proven).

    Grains are an important part of a healthy diet and should only be avoided by people with a medically proven gluten intolerance or Coeliac’s disease. In fact research has found grains to most likely decrease the risk of many cancers including colon cancer. All the dietary guidelines in Canada, America, UK, Australia suggest eating multiple serves of grains, especially wholegrains, to contribute to health.

    People’s tolerance to grains, and in fact fibre (in grain products and in fruits and veg) does vary. It is best to experiment to find what works best. E.g. I know if I have more than 2 pieces of fruit a day and more than 2 pieces of wholegrain bread at lunch while sitting down all day, I will get stomach pains. Others can handle much more fibre than this. Many people may confuse the effects of grains with the effects of fibre, which is found in large amounts in grain (especially wholegrain) products.

    Cheers

  32. Joey says:

    Thanks for the comment miss dietitian! Although we share different views on eating and food in general, I appreciate the input. Take care! And thanks for your participation on this post :)

  33. Slavko Desik says:

    Being a health and lifestyle blogger gives the upper hand here :)

    Blogging is hard work if one takes it seriously, so being at your best makes the most of sense. The post is great, but I will also focus more on things like lifestyle change and sleep, exercise and habit change more than just food. Food really plays a crucial part in our health, but changing the lifestyle to fit the needs that blogging makes is crucial. Great post though.

    • Joey says:

      Right on Slavko! You’re totally right. There are so many factors to look at here. I like how you mentioned sleep because it’s a big and very important area to address. Sometimes, us bloggers get caught up in pretty bad sleep patterns, I definitely used to be one of them. Thanks for the comment!

  34. That’s really great you shared such Golden Info. Thanks…

  35. Nice, telling the asians to give up rice … umm .. about that …

    • Joey says:

      I guess there’s no harm in a little rice from time to time, lol. I’m not totally anti-grain for everybody. Some people can actually handle them ok while others can’t, that’s all. Thanks for the comment!